Fry acquires Pinnacle Rock

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E-commerce services firm Fry Inc. has acquired multichannel retailer consulting firm Pinnacle Rock Associates.

The Fry Inc. partnership with Pinnacle Rock Associates, San Francisco, will extend Fry's services beyond e-commerce services to help retailers, catalogers and consumer package goods manufacturers. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"For instance, consider a retailer who doesn't sell online currently who would like to build a strong e-commerce business," said David Fry, founder/CEO of Fry Inc., Ann Arbor, MI. "Fry would have previously been able to help that company with the creative, user experience and technology of the site -- and the associated systems integration.

"But now we'll also be able to help them develop a successful business model and marketing plan; we'll be able to help plan the product assortments for sale online; and we'll be able to help set up an efficient fulfillment model, whether it's using a third-party logistics company or … the retailer's existing distribution centers," he said. "Fry can now even provide either temporary or permanent staffing to manage the site's content and merchandise."

Pinnacle Rock Associates, which has 35 employees, will operate as a division within Fry. The San Francisco office will remain open along with Fry's San Francisco office to expand Fry's presence on the West coast.

During the past year, Fry and Pinnacle Rock worked on joint projects for major retailers.

The partnership comes as more e-commerce sites are offering more Web 2.0 based interaction.

"Customers who are used to sites like MySpace and YouTube will expect all sites to be easier to use, have more dynamic presentations with fewer static HTML pages, and allow them to interact with the sites more directly, perhaps even uploading content or modifying the site to their personal tastes," Mr. Fry said.

"Whether it's shopping online at an apparel site with a friend, comparing product reviews at an electronics site, or using a rich-media application to virtually arrange furniture in a room, customers are expecting more from their favorite e-commerce sites," he said.

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